Viktor Orban

Ukrainian war, all in Orban's hands: 10 billion to avoid Russia's victory

The war in Ukraine has been fought for over 21 months along a front well over a thousand kilometers long, but the decisive game is being played elsewhere – Washington and Brussels – with the latest news which is outlining a sensational prospect: the outcome of the conflict could depend on what Hungary decides to do in the next few days.
Let's proceed in order.
The European Union has long frozen 22 billion in community funds intended for Hungary due to various violations of the rule of law.
At the same time, the negotiations on the 66 billion additional funds to the EU budget have not been unblocked in Brussels for several months due above all to the opposition of the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
The same goes for the process of Ukraine's entry into the EU given the possible veto from Budapest.
In the meantime, in Ukraine the counter-offensive was a flop and now it is Russia that has started attacking and advancing again; To avoid collapsing and letting Vladimir Putin win the war, Kiev urgently needs money and weapons.
Joe Biden would have ready another 61 billion dollars in aid for Ukraine but the veto of the Republicans, who have the majority in the House, is blocking everything.
The GOP is ready to give the green light only in exchange for the approval of harsh measures against migrants who, however, represent an important part of the Democratic electorate: less than a year before the presidential elections, neither party is ready to concede anything to opponents.
In order to continue to resist the Russian advance, Ukraine must hope for the 17 billion in subsidies contained in the additional funds to the EU budget which have not yet been released.
During the European Council on 14 and 15 December Brussels will try to convince Orban by putting 10.5 billion which are currently frozen on the table.
read also In Germany, companies ask for damages for sanctions against Russia The war in Ukraine and Orban's Hungary Volodymyr Zelensky and Viktor Orban have one thing in common: they both need billions from the EU, the former to continue the war against Russia while the second to protect his country's accounts.
Without a doubt the most desperate situation is that of Kiev, with Ukraine which may not survive for long without help from the West; a victory for Russia would be a Caporetto for the United States and all of NATO, but as mentioned, given the stalemate that is being experienced in Washington, fresh resources in Kiev can only arrive from Europe at the moment.
Since the war broke out, Viktor Orban has often been accused of being a sort of snake within NATO, with his good relations with Moscow certainly not a mystery.
In this tug of war with Brussels, however, the feeling is that Hungary is above all interested in seeing the funds that have been frozen for some time be released.
The European Commission should soon provide a first tranche of 10.5 billion given that EU experts have certified Budapest's progress in carrying out the requested corrections.
At the same time, however, there is no shortage of criticism towards Hungary.
“On the table – declared the Latvian Minister of European Affairs Krisjanis Karins – there are two main issues: one is the credibility of the European Union, the other is not to leave Russia unpunished”.
Harsh words also from the Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis: “The only way I can interpret the Hungarian position, not only on Ukraine but on many other issues, is that they are against Europe and everything for which the 'Europe is fighting'.
Will this be enough to convince Viktor Orban? There would seem to be a lot of pressure also because at stake is the fate of a proxy war which would seem to have failed to meet all the high expectations of the West.

Author: A.W.M.

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